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Budget Survey Results Certificated Staff - Reduction Suggestions

What suggestions do you have for budget reductions in MDUSD?


  • Get rid of iReady
  • Reduce equitably. Use time wisely.
  • Reduce number of TOSAs to have more general education positions and maintain reasonable class sizes.
  • Our High School counselors accomplish very little. We’d be better served by another Vice Principal rather than multiple academic counselors. Also, why does the district have so many TOSA’s? Our students would be better served by using that money to bolstered site teaching and support staff.

    Work to close all charter schools that drain resources from the district.
  • Get rid of TOSAs and scale down the trainings. We spend a ton of money paying for presenters. We also have TOSAs that could go back into the classroom.
  • have school counselors cover multiple schools; have social workers work in feeder patterns. Utilize more graduate level interns to provide counseling/social emotional support. Utilize more social workers for macro, multi level tiered support
  • 1. IReady. Data inaccurate. Not worth the money. 2.  Phase out dual immersion or give some data showing its working (data from the district, not data about bilingual education in general) Same for AVID schools, etc. These magnet programs are not bringing people in (evidenced by declining enrollment) and costing money.
    3. District office too heavy. Put money into students, not Adults
    4. Too much emphasis on technology that is constantly changing. Put money into people.
    5. Hire better leadership at the top levels.
  • Lower administrative salaries, stop paying into unnecessary programs like the International Baccalaureate program.
  • Counselors!  They are obviously a service to our students, but are not mandated to have them in the schools.  I worked in this district when we did not have counselors (due to budget issues) and we were able to serve our students in other ways.  
  • eliminate upper administrative positions; cut back on coaching; restructure upper admin.
  • If 80% of the budget is in personnel, then it follows that 80% of the 17.5 million to cut might need to come from personnel while maintaining services to students.
  • Less money spent on trainings, district level employees
  • 1) Allow site administrators to determine cuts, 2) Contract out all maintenance and transportation services to competitive bidders,
    3) Eliminate out of date positions (I.
    E. IMA's)
  • Eliminate TOSAS, Give teachers a voice in what programs are not useful and can be cut.
  • As far from students as possible. Administration perks(phones, gas, etc). Software programs, technology, not teachers. They directly affect students.
  • Teacher PD days, keep kids on school and make money those days
  • I believe that  programs that are excessive such as the I-Ready program should be eliminated along with excess district staff.  Staff who are integral members of the district should remain with the help they require such as the special ed and ELD staff.
  • Reduced district level office staff. Eliminate TOSAs
  • Cut the elementary instrumental music program and underused TOSA positions
  • Top down reductions- district administrative positions.  Our students can not afford to lose anymore direct services (teachers, counselors, psychs, vice principals, sped services, etc).   Allow the use of vendors such as amazon for purchase (so many things we’ve paid significantly more for because we couldn’t price compare and go with the cheapest vendor). 
  • Reductions in budget do seem to be necessary, but the majority of cutbacks should occur at the California state admin level, not at the schools.  Teachers are already struggling, having to personally pay for many items that ideally should be provided by the school district. 
  • save AVID for a time when we have more money
  • I would suggest reducing the salary of any and all administrative positions at the district office.
  • I would cut unnecessary and costly programs that only effect a small group of choice schools such as AVID and IB. I would cut Elementary PE teachers since class size reduction is no longer happening in MDUSD.  I would consider closing some of our schools, specifically our elementary schools and our lowest performing middle schools just to have a clear reset of priorities. I would consider leveraging our connections with local teacher education programs to see if Summer School could be taught as part of an internship program, thereby saving salary. I do not know how our athletic teams travel, but a reduction in travel costs is worth pursuing. I also do not know about the specific sports programs available, but it is worth looking at the expense of certain programs and seeing which sports could be switched for lower cost sports instead. IF the district chooses to cut iready as a diagnostic and intervention tool, I hope they will mandate student-based assessments such as performance tasks and running records as a replacement.  Reinvest in coaches to help schools shift to common core practices of looking at student work and making the instructional choices necessary to move students.  Schools with their own funding sources should have some of their funds reallocated to Title 1 schools to bring up education for all in MDUSD. Weighted Student Funding is a way to approach this. Equal is not the same as equity.
  • Keep reductions as far away from students (site based) as possible.  Be thoughtful in how reductions will open the district up for possible  litigation in the  future.  Ie, less supervision to keep students safe,  less coverage for IEP'S....
  • District office personnel, TOSA positions
  • Consolidate roles at the district level. You have too many people there doing too little to earn their paychecks.
  • Unnecessary administrative (District level) positions
  • With the majority of budget for salaries and benefits, do an audit of every position in the district. What is the job description of the position? How many are in this position? Do you need everyone? Can positions be combined? Can some be moved to 18 hours from FT? Can schools share positions?
  • Stop cutting so close to the kids. It is time to take a hard look at the number of unnecessary staff at the Dent Center and Willow Creek. Eliminate the TOSA positions and the endless staff at Dent that never seem to be doing much when you walk through those doors.

    And don't cut Elementary programs like band. We already have so little at our level. Middle school and high school sports rarely get cut. The Arts are always the first to go which is sad because more kids participate in Arts programs than sports.
  • To cut overhead at the district office and in district closed properties.  Anything not open should be sold. Schools with tiny enrollments should be looked at, extra not needed personnel that are not directly serving students should be cut. We have an eld coach who does nothing. Doesn’t see students, won’t even adept test. I don’t even know what she looks like, ridiculous. I had to adept my kids in my classroom and watch my other young students run amuck while I did so. District personnel shouldn’t be traveling and attending expensive conferences if we can’t take care of our students.
  • Get rid of iReady.   Middle school kids hate it and don't take it seriously, so the results aren't real.    The cost is not at all worth it.
  • 1. Eliminate I Ready. It is very expensive -- it costs a lot of money and it takes a lot of time from instruction. We can use the IAB from CAASPP to get the same interim assessment information I Ready claims they can give, and the IABs are free.
    2. There seem to be a lot of people working "behind the scenes" -- people who undoubtedly help run the district/support the teachers, but if we need to cut budgets, we should consider reducing the number of people who are not directly in contact with students daily. Please do not reduce the number of site administrators -- they are vital and are in contact with students daily. If things are as tight as they appear, perhaps it is time to reduce the number of "directors."
  • 1-Outsource technology support (pay only for hours needed) and reduce technology staff, 2-Encourage and incentivize community service to fill needs - HS students tutoring LS students, offering tech support, etc. 3-Increase purchase options allowing for price comparisons (e.g. if you can only buy office supplies from one source, then you are going to be paying more than if you can shop around). Allow purchasing from Amazon as well as other online discount stores. 4-Textbook companies will charge you as much as they can. Make sure you have a person with a background in bartering / sales to negotiate the best pricing when adopting new textbooks (as well as other large purchases). Make sure you are not purchasing pieces of a new adoption that won't be used (extra tech pieces, add-on workbooks, manipulatives, etc.). Ensure any tech pieces you do purchase can be supported by the technology the district has.
  • Eliminate or reduce number of TOSAs and/or unnecessary consultants - such as the risk assessment one hired; focus on the people that have daily contact with students; don’t worry about new textbooks
  • A four day school week.  Eliminate expensive  purchases such as iReady. (That was originally piloted to serve students in SpEd, and then was suddenly used for every student, taking even more instructional days for testing and lessons.) Encourage teachers to pursue local and choice PD. Do NOT send admins to conferences when teachers can't go.
  • It is sad to have employees losing their jobs due to this situation. Hopefully, our board and  administration can lower the impact of these cuts. Are administrator jobs also being considered? What is the impact of counselors, P.E. teachers, instrumental music at the elementary level? Do small school need three workers in the office?
  • I am sincerely hoping that the individuals who read this will listen and look into to what I am stating here.  Please ask the District leadership for an explanation as to why certain programs are being pushed by them and forced upon teachers.  I am an elementary school teacher and am very frustrated at the leadership at the District office (especially the Assistant Superintendent) and the many new, inexperienced principals that have been placed in our schools that truly need the direction of veteran principals.
    The one thing that almost every teacher will say that is hated, unnecessary, and so very wasteful are the multitude of various trainings teachers are required to attend year after year after year.
    Most new principals want to prove their worth to the District by putting his or her stamp on their school so they can go back and say, “Look at me, look what I’ve done at my school!”  It is the same in the private industry.  Get a new manager, and he/she wants to do something to prove their worth to their higher ups.  Get a new principal, teachers have to go through new trainings.
    The new program that many elementary schools are implementing and I am sure is being pushed by certain individuals within the District is AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination).  Please find out whose pet project this is.  This is a program that is intended to get students ready for college.  I will not go into detail about what it is.  The website is
    I have seen this program used in high schools to help students plan their class choices in preparation for college; make them aware about various secondary schools and vocations; and introduce them to the tools they can use to succeed in college.
    In my opinion, in a grab for more money, the program is now is being pushed by the AVID company into middle and elementary schools.  We teachers have been told over and over, “It’s something that you are already doing in your classrooms.”  Then why, I ask, are we made to go to additional trainings?
    It must be very expensive when you add up all the costs associated with getting one school AVID “certified”.  Multiply that by the number of schools in our District going through the AVID certification process and the cost is outrageous!  In addition to having TOSAs (teachers on special assignment) come to our school several times this year to teach AVID strategies to the entire staff, certain teachers (approximately 6) and administrators attended trainings this past summer in San Diego.  The District paid for airfare, lodging, meals, and the multiday seminar.  Unlike a Language Arts or Math adoption, AVID is not required at every school in our District.  Additionally, teachers and administrators regularly go to offsite trainings at the District office which require substitute teachers and principals.  All this adds up to money that could be spent on other important things like an official Math adoption which we do not have!
    So, where can the District save at a time when we need smaller class sizes but we aren’t getting them; when we need more nurses and librarians but we have no money; when we need a new Math adoption but who knows why we don’t have one?  Cut out the spending on these unnecessary and wasteful trainings!  If we are indeed in lean times, listen to the teachers!
  • Reduce the number of TOSAs-their time is not utilized effectively (especially at my site); limit trainings (i.e., Constructing Meaning) to new teachers. Veteran teachers are being mandated to report to trainings like this even after attending multiple times in the past; personnel cuts at Willow Creek.
  • Reductions need to happen AS FAR AWAY FROM the classroom as possible.

    Reductions need to happen at the DENT Center offices first.  Our district has become top-heavy, and that's a quick recipe for falling over on our face.

    Eliminating subscriptions to costly, useless, and ineffective online programs.  The Clever portal is not user friendly, and the apps are limited unless more money is shelled out.  Overall, seems like a waste of money.
  • Eliminate TOSAs. Allocate money to site personnel to facilitate professional and curricular development.
  • Sack the TOSAs, incentivize early retirement, outsource TISP/BTSA, streamline and downsize management layer (Dent and Willow Creek eg)
  • Cuts at district levels at nice to haves..... vice principals, TOSA staff, etc
  • Eliminate Teachers on Assignment

    Eliminate all-day kindergarten at Valhalla — this was an ill-planned and expensive folly that was based on Gov. Newsom signing mandatory full day kindergarten. He did not sign the legislation acknowledging that it was too expensive for school districts. We can’t afford this and no one wants it.

    Eliminate elementary pe teachers. They were supposed to be an offset of 20 to one for the younger grades. Since that doesn’t last any more, the pe teachers should be gone as well.

    Eliminate PBIS. I don’t know why the district is paying $100,000 annually for this “behavior” program that has no data that shows behavior improves, but studies that show school with PBIS drop in reading and mathematics scores. Total waste of money.

  • Use district made assessments instead of iReady to monitor progress.

    Lower transportation by adjusting and staggering start times. They need to be changed in 2021-22 anyway so let’s be fiscally smart about it.

    Conduct an energy audit. i.e. No microwaves and minifridges in all classrooms, but offer 1 in a centralized location. OR stop air and heat from turning on during weekends and non operational times.

    Create partnerships between schools so they could share resources(counselors, vice principal,...) it would also be nice if PTAs could combine to create shared events and split the earnings so that the district wouldn’t have to make up for lower income schools not being able to fundraise enough for additional supports.

    Provide more in-house training rather than outside agency. Utilize and maximize those TOSAs!

    Reorganize district tech workers. I’m not sure who is supervising our tech maintenance workers but we have 2 at our site who dont get much done on a daily basis... very frustrating and stealing from our district.
  • Cut PBIS and executive salaries and less needed positions at the district office.
  • Reduce administration costs
  • Look at software licensing costs.  Also, things that can be put off for a year or two.  Try not to cut things that impact the students directly.  Look elsewhere first.
  • Sharply reduce the number of TOSAs.  As a teacher for 24 years I do not see the need and I often know more than they do, as I have already seen it and done it.  Look at the district office, there are A LOT of employees that have NO CONTACT/NO EFFECT on children....are they all necessary and vital in these lean times? The district appears to very top heavy.  If teachers and ultimately students are going to have to pay the ultimate price with budget cuts then it would be more than helpful and to use a Disney term "Good Show" to see some drastic workforce reductions at the district level. Would it be more cost effective to outsource Payroll?  What about consolidating SPed classes by area? Are all those buses with a few kids on them traveling to homes and then to an array of schools cost effective? I
  • District office staffing. Especially high paid positions.
  • We can and have done without some of the administrators at Dent Center.  Please do not cut in the classrooms and from programs for our students.  We are already working with less than we should.
  • Reduce support staff work days/hours to equal the state minimum attendance days/hours for students, and save on salary/benefits. Rather than also reducing student attendance and losing ADA on those days, redesignate those “extra” days to required community building and morale boosting days- service projects, school improvement/clean up, field days, even movie days. Attendance will increase.

    Require proper recycling and dumpster use, Overage charges from waste management  are high.

    Severely restrict copy machine usage.

    Increase funding to alternative education programs. The district is not losing enrollment because students are moving or “ magically disappearing”. They are turning to charter school options!!
  • Cut open positions, take a detailed look at what admin are doing as part of their position - we have people who were moved/positions created because of poor performance and we're still paying their salary because protocols weren't followed, teachers cost less than admin - look at what other districts (SRVUSD) are doing with having a ToSA be part time VP and part time TSA, look at what jobs a teacher could do and eliminate unnecessary admin positions
  • eliminate TOSA positions
  • I believe there are certain positions at the administrative level are unnecessary to the mission of providing a world-class education to our students.  One example would be the position of director of special projects.  Many of the programs under this position leadership could easily be overseen by site administrators (principals, for example). This is just one example of the type of position that ought to be considered for consolidation.
  • I really don't see how it can get any worse.  I buy my own supplies for the classroom and I even had to buy whiteboards.
  • eliminate TK and it seems administration is top heavy at the district office again
  • --Eliminate the weekly Attendance printouts that elementary teacher's must sign, or come up with an alternative that's paper free.  Teachers don't remember who was absent, tardy, late, etc.  We just sign and return.  What's the point? Could save ink and a whole lot of paper.
     --Raise the automatic temperature setting on the A/C in the summer months in all rooms. 
    P, G & E recommends 78 degrees. 
    --Four-day, extended hour work week.
  • Honestly, it appears that much of the district office has redundancies. Whenever I go there, it seems like a lot of people are sitting around doing nothing. I think there can be some compression of jobs there.  I also think that there is not much communication in our district about programs. They are foisted upon us without careful consideration about the costs that will incur with them in the future. A good example is the IB program. It has been pushed out without teacher input or buy in. We have not received the support we need from the district to implement it. This is one example there are examples such as this all over the district.
    I think going to a four day week may be a solution. It will cut down on facility use by 20% a week.
  • Eliminate team sports, physical education, VAPA, and music programs from all sites. Reduce staff course loads at the middle and secondary levels to .8 (reduce class load from 5 to 4), while increasing class size minimums. Eliminate all TOSA and extraneous district employee positions to channel funding to FTE's. Eliminate non-essential site supervisor positions and increase SRO presence on campuses. Eliminate all librarian positions - increase IMA responsibility to ordering and purchasing of media center materials; train staff on use of check-in/ checkout software for books. Eliminate field trips. Eliminate medical/dental/vision benefits - all staff can use Obamacare. Adopt academy model across the district to supplement funding through the CPA. Eliminate district "nutrition" department, get bids from private food vendors and operators to be able to serve food in schools.
  • I believe that there are positions within the district offices and the Dent Center that can be reduced with little to no impact on the students of our school district that you say you are putting first and foremost. These positions make more money annually than in class teachers and their absence would not impact the district the same way laying off teachers would.
  • Eliminate staff development days, and not pay us. Eliminate Elementary Instrumental Music program, Eliminate Elementary Vocal music program, Eliminate Elementary Library prep. Eliminate Middle school and high school preps. Increase class size in classrooms,
      Don't approve the new contract that gives teachers raises.
  • Close elementary schools; Reduce classified days/hours; Consider a 4-day school and/or work-week, similar to other districts across America; Eliminate TOSAs and district curriculum specialists; Change traditional textbook model - move to digital texts; Reduce redundant positions at district level for special projects
  • We need t cut from the district office - not in the classrooms. We have to remember that our main focus is children. We need to provide for them and make sure they have the greatest learning environment to help them learn. Making class sizes larger back to 30 instead of the 24:1 state average in K-3 will only hurt them.  Look possibly to cutting teachers on assignment - do we really need them at that job or could someone else take that on?
  • Cut programs, and bloated administration.
  • Overhau/audit the positions at the district office.  Start at the top when cutting the budget, not at the classrooms.
  • Eliminate all-day kindergartens and TOSA positions. Also, we've increased the number of P.E. teachers required by the new 45:1 ratio. I know this is in the contract, but 45 is a strange number that equates to one and a half classes, not even two upper grade classes together.
  • I think a place to start would be reduce the number of counselors on campus. These positions were just created in the last few years and should be the first to be reduced. Secondly there a far too many TOSAs and the number should be dramatically reduced or maybe even eliminated. This would bring dozens of high quality teachers back in the classroom, help reduce the budget, and also reduce the demand on the substitute system as some people hired now without credentials would return to the substitute pool. Finally administration needs to look at cutting positions at the district offices. Some schools still have classes beyond maximum number because the district has already cut the amount of teachers to the bone, if the budget is as dire as the superintendent says then they need to be  willing to cut the district positions to the bone as well.
  • Cap school classrooms, reduce counseling, athletic stipends, and any other additional programs if necessary.  Condense classified positions as much as practical, reduce VP positions, energy saving options, transportation savings options, etc.
  • Cut district administration
  • Try to have students in special education attend their home schools to cut down on bus costs. Avoid allowing students from other districts to attend in MDUSD to avoid paying teacher overage costs. Staff higher ratios of classroom staff and avoid 1:1's to reduce SEA costs.
  • Eliminate the TOSA positions and Assistant Sup.
  • Remove Bi-Lingual Programs and focus on Universal Education on English, Science and Math
  • Offer an early retirement incentive to employees close to retirement.
  • Eliminate TK
  • Eliminate TOSAS and reserves in text books when we never get new textbooks. Appeal to state and county to make sure the charter schools get no more than their share of the budget and that their budge bares the burden of costs with the district (no free district services)  Threaten to cut sports programs to save money if levies are not passed.
  • Close a school - could the silverwood students go to mountain view? sell a property
  • use parent drivers instead of buses for after school sports in middle school.
  • Anything not directly tied to services for students, i.e. administration
  • * Take a close look at Special Education and support staff.  Many assistants are paid extra for diapering but don't do it.  An audit of each persons positions would help.  Also, giving into parents demands in regards to children with disabilities.  We are the professionals and know what is best for our students.  How much money does the district pay for private schools for children who should be in the MDUSD.  We also provide private transportation to and from those private schools.  When the needs of some of those children could be met here at a MDUSD school. 
    * Hire more Substitute teachers.  When a school does not get a sub for a class, teachers are paid to take the class or a portion of the class.  The teachers are paid more than they would a substitute therefore, costing the district more money.
    * One other complaint I have is the mandatory taking of all food when buying lunch or brunch.  Children who do not want the milk, fruit, or veggie, should not have to take it.  What a waste! 
    These little suggestions will definitely not solve the budget crisis but will help a little. 
  • With the current budget crisis, MDUSD should consider cancelling all the bi ligual education.  If you want to have that, then leave holbrook as the bi-lingual school(although there is a growing group of parents from other countries saying it's not a bi lingual school but a spanish school).  By cancelling bi lingual ed, it would even out all the classroom at title one schools. We could spread students even so that everyone has the same amounts and types of students.  Not only that, but we would save money on textbooks in spanish, paying for subs every month, and not having dr. medina on retainer.  I know it sounds good on paper that we offer this but the reality is that these students in these programs keep falling behind.
    Not to mention, in order for bi lingual education to work, the students need to be strong in their home language first.  The students in these programs are not proficient in their home language, so they are falling behind(most of the students in our kindergarten classroom don't know their letters in either language.)

    Getting rid of all the branding of schools would be good to save money.  Let's make MDUSD a district that has just good schools without the branding.  That way every student regardless of whether they speak spanish or not is getting the best from MDSUD. 
  • Reduce TOSAs
  • 1) We need special education collaborative classrooms at the elementary level. We need to hire a special education assistant to be assigned to general education classrooms with the idea that students with and without IEPs will have access to the extra support in their classrooms throughout the day. This will greatly eliminate the need, and requests for, 1:1 special education assistants. The amount of money the district spends on 1:1 assistants, assessments for 1:1 assistants, and legal battles for 1:1 assistants will be significantly reduced. It's about providing the students with what they need before it escalates. A collaborative SEA aide can be case managed by the resource specialist. The extra support can be written into multiple student's IEPs under the supplemental service section and will not cost the district any extra money. By reducing the requests, implementation, and legal factors related to 1:1 assistants, the district will save significant amount of money.

    2) We need MDSUD to host a comprehensive program, ideally in elementary school, for severely dyslexic students. Right now the district spends a crazy amount of money by sending students to outside programs, such as HOPE academy in Concord. The program HOPE academy runs could fairly easily be created within the district at our existing elementary campuses. It would require significant training and coordination, but over all it would save the district so much money that is currently being spent on law suits, mediation, tuition for outside programs, and all the money sucking problems that come with students being placed in inappropriate programs. Instead of placing students in programs that don't serve their needs (thus spending tons of extra money on parent legal battles and extensive IEP meetings), the district would have an appropriate "in house" option for our students most significantly impacted by Dyslexia.

    3) The district ELD teachers in Elementary education do not currently provide direct support to students. By either redefining their job descriptions to assist teachers in the classroom or eliminating/condensing these positions, the district would save significant money with little impact.

    4) Professional development days are not typically well received by teachers. We teachers need 1) more direct training on specific curriculum we are using in our classrooms and 2) more time to work in our classrooms. Most teachers do not appreciate large professional development lectures on things most of us already know and implement. If the district were to either eliminate some of the professional development days or allow us to hold more of them on our own campuses, this would save the district money.
  • Reduce: Counselors, TOSAs, Dent Center "academic support" administrators (MDUSD has a long history of "too many cooks spoiling the broth")
    Eliminate: i-Ready, after-school middle school sports, PBIS
  • Address why student population is declining.  Look at ways to increase student population (Inter district transfers, High light the good that is being done in the district, eliminate charter schools)
  • Keeping the cuts away from the classroom/students. If there are administrative cuts that can happen, start there.
  • Please make cuts as far from the classroom as possible. 
  • Increase hours for classroom SEAs so they are there for the entire school day and staff all sdc classes appropriately. You’ll have fewer requests or needs for 1:1 assistants and less behavioral issues overall.  Also, create programs that mirror non public schools but are less costly because you are doing it in house.  If sped is a big expense the district needs to do a better job of serving sped students so that parents are less likely to get upset and file complaints. 
  • Furlough days.
  • Cut/streamline needless positions in the top branches of the district hierarchy.
  • Eliminate the following: (1) All TOSA positions (2) Unnecessary programs that don't have a direct impact on students' learning outcomes (3) Unnecessary digital subscriptions (4) Turn off lights in buildings/rooms that aren't being used 100% of the time (copy rooms, bathrooms, staff rooms, etc.) (5) Keep all doors/windows closed when the heater/air conditioner is on (6) Create a general Fundraising Pool - when any department raises money, all departments/classes can benefit. For example, if a P.E. Department raises $10,000 and an English or Drama department raises $4,000, all of it should go into a pool. During staff meetings, staff can anonymously vote on how the money should be spent. If a P.E. Department has a surplus of fundraising money, then a portion, or the remaining amount can go toward purchasing books/curriculum. It doesn't make any sense for teachers to be told, "We don't have any money for books or curriculum." We need to work together and get students' basic needs met. It all starts with the provision of learning materials, curriculum. We cannot afford to be selfish at this time. (7) At every staff meeting, there should be a brief sharing of how the school is holding up financially = 100% transparency. (8) Create a Bring-Your-Own-Device Program where students bring their own Chromebook or laptop to school (include a release of liability) to save on the district's/school's technology expenditures. Students often vandalize school-provided Chromebooks by taking keys off and being too rough with them. I doubt they would treat their own devices this way.
  • a serious look at TOSA program and the Equity and BITSA program, "coaches", instructional VPs....
  • *Eliminate lessons for I-ready with the exception of EL support. This will save hundreds of thousands of dollar in seat licencing.
    *Eliminate professional development speakers from outside our district. Unnecessary expense that is not worth it.
    *Eliminate PD days to only professional training in specific areas of standards and programs already adopted. Don't pile on as has been done in the last 5 years to ELA and Math.
    *Shift some staffing to TOSA support specifically trained in key programs as "district experts"
    *Stop adopting texts for math so frequently. None so far have proven to raise test scores as predicted. Digits vocabulary is impossible for EL and low level students to understand. Stick with Pearson until the budget crisis is resolved.
  • trips, food, if people leave wait on filling the position, lower PBIS funds, look at district jobs more closely
  • Some large budget programs are not used as intended or by as many schools, the dollars would be better used elsewhere.
  • pay cuts for administrators/no raises, reduce spending for district office
  • reduction in staff at the district office/ combine jobs and responsibilities at the district office
  • Cut positions at District Office
  • First create clear strategic planning goals for each content area, to determine what students and teachers need to be successful. Then look carefully at Dent  and  supporting staff, and administrators, what  roles are truly are needed? Which roles are helping move our students forward, which are not? Do these high cost district administrative roles really help, are so many needed?
    AVID and PBIS- are these high cost programs effective in improving student learning? How can we justify such programs when we are not providing appropriate curriculum and tools for mandated content areas? 
  • Give us a retirement package for people over 55 and 5 years with CALSTRS add with full medical benefits, so the highest earners can leave sooner than later
  • Elementary Instrumental Music, TOSAs, Elementary PE
  • take away Eureka math which requires tons of papers to be copied , and collated, and tons of manipulatives to be purchased.
  • Reducing/eliminating extended paid leaves/benefits for temporary employees who have not been working for a substantial period of time or even demonstrated any type of successful job performance.
  • Eliminate unfilled positions, and TSA's.
  • There may be some teacher on special assignment/coaching jobs that are underutilized.
  • First of all, there are too many people working in higher paid positions where jobs are separated. For every two jobs there should be one person working it, especially for individuals making over $150,000. Every site I've worked at had Librarians that barely did much. Possibly cutting librarians and nurses. Hire some third party librarians and nurses.
  • Less expense at the Dent Center
  • not cutting staff that work directly with students on a daily basis
  • Salary reduction for admin and district-level personnel.
  • Hiring freeze for administrators and district management employees.
  • I suggest actually spend all the money we have in a year and not leaving any on the table.  Of course save what should be saved but don't leave 11 million dollars on the table again.  When the money is spent it should be spent in a fashion that allows all of our students to benefit.
  • SPED lawsuits, why are we not providing services to students, but instead paying for exorbitant settlements?
  • I suggest we look at our smaller school sites and close some of them. We have multiple sites in close proximity to each other that could benefit from combining resources and saving on administrative costs, as well as maintenance and operations costs.
  • reduce administrative salaries
  • Mental health issues are rising and losing any counselors or teachers would have many students suffer. Academic counselors  work intensive hours on and off clock hours making sure student needs are met. Instead, we need least 4 counselors at every school site.
  • Reduce the number of management positions in our district. Do not take services/personnel away from our students, instead focus on higher-ups and eliminate/combine positions. Too many new hires.
  • Adopt a "lean management" model of central administration: eliminate management positions where possible by reassigning appropriate tasks to other staff; reassign executive directors to directors where appropriate based on relevant work experience; do not contract out work to consultants that can be done by staff already on payroll.
    Eliminate TOSA positions; reassign TOSAs to classroom positions.
    Investigate contracting out TIS, M&O, and transportation positions to see if costs can be reduced.
    Discontinue licensed programs that are not being implemented effectively or are not contributing to improvement in student achievement and outcomes (e.g. i-Ready, HERO, IB).
    Close Willow Creek Center and relocate staff to other school sites.
    Investigate potential closure of under-capacity school sites.
    Improve oversight of expenditure of program funds (e.g. CTE, Title I)
  • look at top heavy admin/para teaching jobs:Tosa,BITSA,Coaches,"Equity" well as "vice" positions in administration
  • look at trimming or eliminating iReady
  • Provide more counseling services for students at a younger age (also through adulthood), so students develop mental health skills to create resilience as they get older, therefore reducing needed services that cost money.
  • Reduce disproportionate district office administration salaries
  • Eliminate all extraneous district level positions, especially those that do not involve direct interaction with students on a daily basis such as coaches, TOSAs and non essential admin positions in the district office (eg.,  

    Reevaluate the efficacy of special programs that create additional expenditures.  Does our investment in Dual Language programs warrant the additional funding for special training and specialized "experts"  required? Are we utilizing our time, money and manpower efficiently in implementing equity programs like PBIS?  Are we truly better serving our students through these programs or can we simplify, save money and focus our resources more effectively? 
  • Elimination of one of the Directors in Technology, Administrator School and Community Services, consolidate smaller Alternative Ed sites, reduce TOSAs, reduce/eliminate elementary PE, reduce librarians or redefine their roles, elementary music, middle school sports, align class size to contract size, restructure at the cabinet level.  Streamline district systems (online....), some schools need more services based on their student population.
  • I have no reduction suggestions, we are at bare bones right now.
  • DO NOT cut the Teacher Librarians! They are so useful to classroom teachers. Not only do they provide us legal and contracted prep time, but they teach our students. We do not often have time to read to our students. They read to them, teach them digital citizenship, and other valuable lessons. Our TL here at Wren gave my students a quick mini-lesson about fake versus real news. They are essential for our students. I am appalled that a board member would even suggest this.
  • cuts or downsize at the district office level (not in schools, classrooms or cuts that affect students).
  • Getting rid of some computer programs that cost the district a lot of money.
  • Hire and keep happy, reliable employees that will come to work regularly, not take sick time and cost the district more money.  Efficient use of water, electricity and heat.  Classrooms use a lot resources when empty.  Student expectations need to be that students come to school to work efficiently, come prepared and behave properly.  A lot of time and resources are spent on classroom management, poor behavior and special education that needs to be dealt with  before it gets to special education.
  • Budget cuts need to be made not a the lowest levels, like teachers and staff, but at the highest level. Our schools will suffer if teachers, librarians, support staff, nurses, counselors, principals, VP, and resources are cut. As with all bureaucracy, people in high positions think the little people need to go or be sacrifice for money. There are positions in the district office that needs to be removed due to redundancy and high salaries. We must protect our students and schools!
  • 1. Get rid of IReady. It is not implemented at schools as it is suppose to be (amount of days and length), so the results are not valid.  By middle school, the students have "checked out" and do not take the test seriously.
  • I would first cut things that do NOT effect school site pupil-to-personnel ratios. If we have I would cut district programs like Teachers on Special Assignment (TOSAs), PBIS, Equity, etc. While these programs are extremely beneficial, I think pupil-to-teacher, -school counselor, & -admin ratios are the most important for maintaining a functioning learning environment.
  • Reduce administrators. Positions seem to be generated for people, not for specific needs.
  • reduce or freeze the wages of administration at the district level.
  • Eliminate all TOSA positions including full release  BTSA coaching (see Antioch/Albany - both after school models for BTSA) which can become an after school stipend position these are teaching positions that least affect students in the classroom and the value of these TOSA's that continue on and on is questionable at best-most classroom teachers see no value in academic TOSA position actually they create more work for the classroom teacher and are not effective whatsoever

    Eliminate 25% of district office positions including PBIS related positions and return to normal school discipline all of that is a waste as well - we had better control over our student populations and parents considered school safer and better managed when we had actual consequences and accountability

    Outsource any job functions that we can such as payroll
  • Eliminate large dollar contracts for people who already have retired from the district. We can find expertise and ability from other people at lower costs. Qualified new energy is thwarted by this archaic practice. This includes paying retired people more money to sub daily. Review the policies to eliminate these practices that reek of nepotism.
    Also, it would be great if we did not look the other way from those who are not doing their jobs. Accountability and holding people to their responsibilities would allow the district to at least get their money's worth. Get real about eliminating wasteful practices and stop hiding behind the budget issue when considering progress.
  • Eliminate i-ready; expensive PD like Constructive Meaning; & voicemail. Make sure all classrooms don't turn on heat / ac automatically in Summer. It's ugly, but perhaps we need to close another school.
  • Freeze any conferences or professional development that is charged to  the general budget. Reduce purchasing of supplies or books from the general budget. Even though we have adopted a language arts program at the elementary level there are still teachers doing printing why?Do not give any salary increases to any bargaining unit in due to our new financial constrains. Re negotiate contract to eliminate professional development days unless we have a categorical cost to cover for this expense. No overtime.  Freeze hiring of any clerical, certificated or administrative positions that are open.  Avid is a great program, do we need to send personnel to the annual conference? Audit electrical cost to see if it can be decrease by eliminating personal appliances from the classroom. example: microwaves, small fridges.
    Reduce janitorial cost. Counselors at the elementary sites. Assigned clerical personnel at the schools based on the number of students. Reduce PE teachers for 4th and 5th grade. Eliminate or reduce music at the elementary level. Eliminate intramural sports at the middle school level unless it is privately fund. Eliminate any field trip that impacts the general funds. MDUSD has more special ed. assistants than other districts. Review the criteria for assigning a one to one to student. Can we outsource jobs to private companies? would there be a savings and better results?
  • Maybe we can reduce some of the programs at the schools that get additional parent funds, BUT NOT COUNSELORS.
  • 1. Reduce use of electricity: campaign to turn off lights, heaters and air conditioners automatically go on after hours, on the weekends, and on holidays   2.  Evaluate the effectiveness of district coaches/How many people are they really reaching/impacting? 3. Discontinue the use of i-Ready  4. Reassess the roles of district administration and streamline
  • More money for teachers
  • Collapse SDC classes that are not full
  • Collapse SDC classes that are not filled
  • Determine where any resources are being wasted, and where/if any money is being spent unnecessarily. If there are any facilities that are using excesses resources (such as gas, electricity, paper) that could be solved by being updated then do that before cutting jobs. Look at what programs should be cut or reduced, or any non-essential vacancies that can be left unfilled.
  • To eliminate the TOSA positions.  As they are helpful, they are not mandatory.  During budget crisis, extras are not needed.
  • My suggestion is that the reductions be made as far away from the students as possible.  I have been in this district for over 20 years and the administration is once again, very top heavy. Reductions should be made to streamline the administrative offices of the district.   Prioritize and identify administrative and administrative assistant positions that are not critical and directly related to students.  I also suggest eliminating or severely cutting back the number of TOSA positions.  The TOSA presentations that I have had could easily have been delivered by my administrator or other qualified staff members.  I have not found the TOSA positions to be beneficial.  There are still, at the middle of the year, classrooms that have 40+ students in a class.  I don not see how the board can even consider eliminating teacher positions.  The way in which the reduction in force layoffs were handled last year was horrible.  So many teachers' lives were disrupted and put in the balance, for months, only to be rehired before the end of the school year.  Added to that, the district had multiple open vacancies at the beginning of the school year.  This is not acceptable.  There was no reason for those teachers to be given notices.  If teacher position reductions are absolutely necessary, please, please, be sure to handle it appropriately.
  • Get rid of I ready
  • TOSA's, Bilingual programs, Early Retirement Packages
  • cut to 1 couselor per site, iReady,
  • *Eliminate Summit
    *Eliminate the AVID program - it's a great program but schools do not have the money to take students on field trips and utilize the program as it should be utilized
    *eliminate all the vacant positions in the district - we ave survived this long without someone in that role
    *Middle school sports programs
    *4th & 5th grade music program
    *allow school or competitive sports to count for the 2nd year of PE - this will eliminate some sections of PE which will save money in the end and allow students to take more elective classes (it's a win-win)
    *reduce the Equity department
  • Eliminate all TOSA, BITSA and PAR positions.  Stop purchasing expensive (and arguably unnecessary) testing materials, such as iReady.  Significantly curtail (or eliminate) travel, conferences and professional development days.  Eliminate top positions.
  • Cut I-Ready for the district or only keep it for the intervention students.
  • Look at each department and school and see what can be trimmed. Look to see if we are administratively heavy and trim there.
    Look at the cost of Special Education law suits and pay outs and then learn from them and do the right thing for students from the beginning so that families do not sue the district and ask for services outside of the district Special Ed program.
  • Less funding to special education and more to general education.
  • Direct support to students: counseling, nurses, psychs NEED to be held at maximums at all levels. Early intervention can prevent many of the issues that students face at middle and high school.
    Cuts: Furlough days for district office during the summer, PE teachers for elementary schools, TOSA/Coaches.
  • BTSA/CTI:  Connect new teachers with veteran teachers who qualify for self evaluation in lieu of BTSA/CTI coaches.  The pair creates a document in their Drive (or Google Classroom?) to keep meeting dates, goals, notes, and questions; shares it with the administrator(s) to check-in and contribute to throughout the school year.  Try to keep grade level, subject, and location similar.

    Find a way to make discarded items (stored at the warehouse, I believe?) more available to teachers/administrators rather than buying new.

    Encourage or remind sites to conserve energy, esp leaving doors closed when heat or A/C is on, turning off lights when rooms are not in use.
  • I would suggest partially cutting parts of school funding (department funds) to save money as a whole.

    I would also suggest cutting Chromebook funding and instead work on teaching the students how to read and write the old fashion way using paper and pencil. This will cut down on electricity/repairs/etc and teach the children not to rely on technology.

    I suggest having elective costs for a student to be in an elective class that requires funding. If a student cannot afford it, maybe they fundraise for the funds or take a different class (i.e - Art, woodshop, etc.)
  • I suggest making cuts higher up the chain instead of asking teachers and students to carry the weight of the reductions. 
  • No unilateral cuts.  Let sites determine what is best for them.
  • Stop, taking from the bottom. Eliminate staffing at the top. I walk into the dent center to find lots of people doing nothing. Where are YOU making deductions that don’t pass on to US!

    Eliminate IB program- it’s costs money to be in and this program is not something that you can cut corners on.
  • Work on hiring district service providers VS contracted service providers
  • IB in elementary schools are an enormous expense.  I suggest you visit and speak with PYP -IB schools. Each year the fee is up to 10,000 just to acquire the name.  Every teacher has to be certified in category 1,2,3 training.  2 and 3 are not local trainings and travel food and lodging expenses.  Then the curriculum is different which needs to be purchased.  Language teacher and coordinator position needs to be hired to go through accreditation.  Why is the district focused on all these magnet programs when there is a budget crisis?  Don’t lead the schools to believe they will be funded if they can’t.  Be transparent! Cut magnet Elementary schools, get back to the basics and focus on elementary skills and not fancy programs.  Cut tosas put them back in the class and close a school or two if it’s needed and don’t buy it back like expensive Holbrook. 
  • The government needs to pitch in more to offset these costs. Priority needs to be placed on educating our community.
  • Less TOSAs, less PD, retirement incentives to lower salary overhead, audit curriculum and assessment costs (ie necessary/unnecessary licenses)
  • 1, Get rid of TOSAs.  We need professional trainings by professionals that actually have something to teach.  TOSAs are just teachers, with no more training than the rest of us.They come unprepared to teacher trainings.  They offer teachers nothing.  Their teacher trainings are not evaluated objectively with accountability.  A district employee may "pop" in a for a few minutes.  It's like everyone is just "protecting" the lie that these trainings actually train.   What a shame.  Teachers WANT to learn.  But these TOSAs simply do not have anything to impart.  To think of all the subs receiving pay, and these T
    OSAs receiving pay for nothing.  It's criminal that the district has not been held accountable for this misuse of money.
     Also, upon adoption of the fabulous Wonders program, it was only a short amount of time when some schools (PHE) were bragging that they were doing their own thing.  Having taught out of Wonders for a few years, I again ask, "Where is the accountability in this district that allows a group of teachers with no free time to feel they can snub their noses at a program that was years in the making by experts from all areas of education?"  We know they couldn't begin to match the richness of the program.  But, MDUSD lacks accountability in EVERY area of its operation.  Why does the district spend thousands of dollars and then allow this?  Why is there no oversight?  Why are the principals allowed to not hold teachers accountable for not teaching?  Many districts (LA) do not allow teachers to make a ""curriculum" out of Pinterest downloads.  But, MDUSD sure does, even though we spent thousands on an incredible reading program.  BECAUSE there is no one holding anyone accountable.  Principals spend large amounts of time away from their schools talking.  Save that money.  Put it in an email and start holding the principals accountable.  There should be unannounced visits multiple times a week in each classroom.  Teachers should have to be held accountable.  Everyone just protects the lie that instruction is happening.  Talk about a waste of money.  We are in the business of educating and it seems that no one in this district wants to do the hard work.  I see it day in and day out.  It seems our new superintendant could better use his time holding principals accountable for making sure their teachers are doing what they claim, than sending out photo shots of himself meeting everyone.  There has been a notable deterioration of accountability in this district.  Superintendants not leading, just showing up for photo shoots. Superintendants not demanding that principals do the hard work (the unpopular part of their jobs).  Principals just wanting everything to "go smoothly" so that no one complains, instead of doing their jobs in making sure that the standards are taught in ALL classrooms ALL the time.  Teachers know no one EVER pops in.  Teachers know that no one EVER holds them accountable.  So then you get MDUSD 2020, a district where year after year the students come in unable to demonstrate understanding of the standards because the previous teacher knew it was easier not to hold his/her students accountable.   Who is holding our district leader accountable??????  It all starts there.    As having been a teacher in this district for awhile now, it's deplorable!   We waste millions of dollars yearly, BUT more importantly, we waste futures.
  • Look at things that are necessary, and find ways to spend less money.  e.g. Pencils.  a pack of 96 Ticonderoga pencils at Office Depot costs $34.69.  Right now, as I write this, the same pack of 96 goes for $10.49 at Costco  -  less than a third of what we pay from Office Depot.  How many other things are we overpaying for because we have a contract with a company?  Additionally, do not buy things that teachers do not want to use just because they are cheap.  Think notebooks.  My students are special.  Many of them have large handwriting.  They need wide ruled notebooks. They also need to be able to write sitting anywhere, not necessarily at a desk.  Very soft plastic covered college ruled notebooks do not work for them.  Think pencils.  If you get the cheap, store brand pencils, the erasers are terrible, and when we have students who are drummers, the lead in these pencils is so brittle that a little drumming breaks it up and it slides right out. (thank goodness I do not have any drummers this year)

    When purchasing or contracting for the use of computer based instruction software, compare studies and buy what gives us the most bang for our buck.  Look at all aspects including student engagement because if students hate it, they won't do it.  Do this for everything, do not just purchase the proverbial shiny penny.

    Do not spend a lot of money to replace perfectly good things (desks) with things that serve a similar purpose (puzzle tables) but that do not work well in a day-to-day classroom.  The puzzle tables create an environment where one can only have students do group-work, or risk losing student engagement.  Sometimes you have to do direct teaching, and with puzzle tables, some students are always facing away from the front of the room and looking directly at the other students at their tables. Also, it degrades morale when an entire school comes back from summer break to find that all the desk are gone and everyone is stuck with the frustratingly inflexible, but pretty, puzzle tables – another shiny penny fiasco.
  • I have taught math for 18 years and the i-ready testing is not using the correct material for our grade levels. Our 6th graders till get circle problems right away, and 7th graders get slope problems early on. The students and teachers get upset when the non-curriculum questions come in the first 5 minutes of the test. We have much better tests for checking for accelerated placement. My Aims students have been learning their facts through Prodigy which makes it fun for them. It is free for the students to log on.
  • Stop paying outside agencies. Juvo, Taxis, Speech
  • Cut district staff, particularly administrative staff. Don't cut site staff and positions that directly serve students. We don't need more managers and office workers. We do need teachers, counselors, nurses, librarians.
  • Please restructure those areas that are not student services related. As staff members, we often see changes/additions made to make things easier for those at the district level. The goal for schools appears solely to be filling seats, not educating students.
  • Reduce class sizes to a maximum of 20 to 1 Tk-12 so that we can ACTUALLY teach students and identify needs early on of ALL students. We could actually Help students who would otherwise need SSTs and interventions like counseling, ELD, and Special Ed services. This would would be MUCH easier to reduce costs of law suits from parents and educational advocates because teachers could actually help student before things get bad. Then we wouldn't need as many extra services because we could do our jobs.
  • Get rid of positions that do not directly work with students: TOSAS, BTSA coaches, ELD teachers who just do paperwork, assistant superintendents, half of the people farting around at Dent center who never return emails and phone calls but have a ton of time to sit around and chat it up with coworkers.
  • Less spending on professional development programs at this time
  • Fewer librarians, academic counselors, elementary school vice principals and traveling nurses. More school psych and counseling interns.
  • Eliminating positions at the Dent Center,
    Eliminating Landscaping positions, let schools/parent groups/youth leagues that use facilities help with the up keep, look at feeder patterns of elementary schools and see if you can take two small schools and combine them.
  • Eliminate one-fifth of the management positions that are not assigned to schools.
  • Don't offer unnecessary expense science classes.
  • DO NOT cut Teacher Librarians. They provide valuable resources to the staff and students, not to mention credentialed prep time.
  • There are seemingly dozens of TOSA's currently not teaching yet earning a full time salary. These are first positions that any unbiased logical observer would eliminate. You can eliminate all the salaries of the current teachers in their positions. Next, eliminate all the recent administrative positions that somehow became necessary, (position redacted). Eliminate all "equity" jobs. They are not necessary to fulfill our main responsibility-teaching. The district should not be in the business of job creation.
  • We can and should eliminate most TOSA positions, and they seem to to bear much fruit. We also can save money by only using I-Ready subscriptions for students who actually need it and benefit from it, rather than students for whom it is not a necessary or appropriate tool. There also seems to be a tremendous amount of food waste on campuses. A lot of money would be saved by not busing students from Bay Point as well. We could even go to a four-day school week with the fifth day being independent, online learning.
  • Close and/or consolidate Gateway. Promote more job sharing. Identify all old computers and sell them - then upgrade tech in order to use less copies/paper/books (will need to invest in training of Google Classroom etc). This may not have an immediate effect but will pay for itself in x-amount of years
  • Reach out and accept students from neighboring districts. San Leandro did this and was very successful. I would also look at the Teacher's on Special Assignments. There seem to be so many, yet I feel like at the elementary level I rarely see them for support. I would also like to see them cut from the top down. Why is it that the superintendent never recieves a pay cut or the admin working under him?
  • Create part time positions for teachers close to retirement.
  • Administrators at the district office. Professional development days. Teachers on special assignment.
  • Don't reduce any portion of the budget. Too many of our resources are already stretched too thin. Take a stand against underfunding public education by demanding no reduction and in fact only an increase in our budget. This is the only hopeful way forward. If you cut clerical staff, students will be further underserved. If you cut teachers, same problem. If you cut administrators, same problem. Any further cuts to an already bleeding problem is participating in making the problem worse.
  • Stop paying for Math curriculum when we haven't adopted an official curriculum.
  • Rethink the structure of district administration. We have so many executive directors and assistant directors and curriculum specialists who are making a lot of money, yet teachers do not feel supported or even have curriculum that they desperately need.
  • Do not hire are more staff.  Do not fill the vacant position.  Look for some cuts in upper management positions.  Please do not cut counselors, the district needs counselors to support the personal, social, emotional, mental and academic needs of all students. For a school distinct this large we need more counselors. Cut programs that are not effective, possible class size increase. 
  • Reduce staffing at the Dent Center. The increase in curriculum specialists and administrative staff over the last decade has created more work for teachers for no discernible reason except to make the district "look good." But, do NOT reduce clerical staff at either schools or the Dent Center. Clerical staff was cut to the bone--and more--back in 2008 and has never recovered.
    Eliminate after-school sports for middle schools. Many of the middle school students who participate in school sports already participate in sports through their communities, making the transportation and personnel costs hard to justify.
  • -Cutting any web-based subscriptions (XL, iReady) and replace with free platforms like Math Prodigy.
    -Perhaps a drastic measure is needed, like a reduced school week (such as what they did in Colorado's district 27J, which saved them $1m).
    -Reduce paper use and postage and seek out paperless alternatives (Riverside school district saved $60k annually with a paper reduction strategy).
    -Review our vendor and contract costs and find competitive options.
    -Look into a partnership with local colleges like DVC for college courses and early graduation?
    -Offer online courses using a platform like Blackboard or Canvas. Move away from the centralized warehouse model to a direct shipping model.
    *Start using your librarians, we are perhaps your best untapped resource! We are reading specialists, ed tech specialists, instructional support specialists, and are credentialed to provide literacy intervention--our cost is low considering the various roles in which we can serve a site, but we are NOT being used to the maximum of our abilities. (One small example: Some of us have given talks to parents at public libraries on social media safety and digital literacy--while our own district hires outside consultants to come in and give talks on the same topic--we would have done it for free :)
    *Full disclosure: I'm a teacher librarian and would love to be involved in more discussions on how we can streamline costs weighing down our district.
  • Online textbooks instead of regular textbooks.
    Do the job correctly the first time so that we don't have to spend money fixing things a second time.
    This district is too large. Separate the high schools and feeder patterns together to better manage money.
    We have outdated software systems regarding maintenance and operations to help know what to fix and when. A more comprehensive system that would allow all the managers/workers to follow along, would save time and money in the long run.
  • Cut spending on TOSAs & iReady, both of which are unnecessary.
  • Consolidate Alt Ed sites
    Eliminate Summit
    Eliminate College and Career Advisor positions because high school counselors can and do do this position. College Advisors are not certificated and are not supposed to be alone with students (and they are all the time) - counselors can be.
    Eliminate Librarians since they are hardly even on campuses now.
    Reduce the number of Assistant Sups/more cuts needed at the district office level than at the school sites.
    Eliminate AVID
    Is the IB program really working?If it is costing money, stop paying for something very few students are taking advantage of.
    Do not fill vacant positions
    Allow sports and Marching Band to count as PE.
    Eliminate equity
    Eliminate Middle school sports
    Eliminate Elementary school music programs
    Reduce Registrar/Office Manager to 11 months
    Sell Clayton Valley Charter – the actual school building and grounds to the Charter
     The Superintendent  should not need 2 assistants, eliminate one
  • Dent Center - do we really need everything and everyone there?  We have to stop taking from the schools themselves. Anything and anyone that works directly with students shouldn't be touched.
  • Getting rid of textbooks. Other districts moved to an online version or consumable workbook and have saved millions of dollars.
  • Use Amazon. Requiring schools to use other sources wastes so much money.
    Also, stop removing functioning tech from classrooms that still functions 100% as needed. Recently, the district has removed functioning IPads from elementary classrooms and are rumored to removing functioning laptops and recently purchased docks and replacing with chromebooks.
  • We should get rid of I-Ready and not replace it with anything.  It is not healthy for little children to be taking tests so often.  It will save a lot of money.
  • Reduce the number of administrators in the district office or in special programs as it seems there are a large number of administrators that rarely see students, interact with staff or parents, or provide value to schools.

    Reduce the number of Program Specialists in the SpEd or other departments. There are so many of them. They are expensive positions. It's not clear to many site staff and parents what the value or return on investment of all these program specialists or special administrators. Return IEP offers of FAPE processes and decisions to the site IEP meetings as required by state and federal law.

    Special Education: get our district off the State improvement plan. It's been going for years and years with negative to sad results. Related to State mandates on MDUSD special ed, our process and structure to offer FAPE (IEP services and correct PLACEMENT) is actually causing students real harm as the decisions of services and FAPE are not made at the student's IEP meetings. It seems placement and change of placement decisions are made by the Triage Management Team on Tuesday mornings and not at the children's IEPs. IDEA and State Ed code require that eligibility, service and placement offers/decisions (FAPE) are to be made at the actual IEP meeting with the parent present as well as site administrators' present with site teachers and specialists. Currently, "triage packages" of upto 100 pages, requiring 2 to 5 hours of work are prepared and submitted to the "Triage Team," which somehow decides which cases to review for change in services and/or placement, which to send for an ERMHS assessment, which to do something else with. The Triage Team is comprised of many administrators/senior staff that are very expensive per hour to make such decisions...probably in the multiple thousands of dollars per hour to review children's current IEPs, new assessment results, and match with correct services. Also, the Triage Team decisions are poorly communicated to site administrators, site sped case managers, site specialists, and site teachers who actually know the student well and know what is likely to work and not work for the student. It's a top-down, centralized, and senior management system of making FAPE offers. Hugely inefficient with staff time (district office and site). If anything, after Triage Team has made a decision on services and placement, then a representative to Triage Team should come to an IEP meeting at the site to present that offer to parent to parent has due process to consider that offer, decide yes/no with some information, and/or to negotiate for other options or services. I believe, while well-indended, the state improvement plan and Triage Team, is actually blanket denying FAPE to individual children, violating IDEA and State Ed Code parent rights and procedural safeguards, and results in a delay of 4 months to 1 year in making proper FAPE offers at IEP meetings. Have worked in many other districts. I have never seen a FAPE procedure that has resulted in 4 months to multiple year delays in a legal and relevant to student/parent offer of FAPE. The Triage process and Triage team needs a complete re-evaluation of its process and its outcomes. As far as I can tell, the Triage team is not tracking student outcomes with our FAPE offers: how long does it take to get an offer of FAPE to the student at a site, what are the most common FAPE offers on initial IEP qualifiers and most common on triennial IEP change of placement requests/needs, how student do after Triage Team places them in their preferred placement offer, and stats on how many Triage Team FAPE change of placement offers work for the student and how many of those student rebel and don't do well in the district's triage team fape offer. I see that it is not working for students, parents, site staff, specialists. We are trying help these students, but it is clearly not working at all. Sometimes I wonder if parents or staff write complaints for being made to wait between 6 months to 2 years to get a clear offer of FAPE that is relevant to their child's needs and data in their child's assessment data on file. If we are going to have so many program specialists in the SpEd department, they should come directly to the IEP team meetings to deliver offers of FAPE and be present with the parents and site staff in making decisions on a) eligibility and student needs b) services offered c) placement offered. Also, end or totally revise and shorten the Triage Application. It takes 2 to 5 hours to complete. Is 50 to 100 or more pages (with 3 copies) long that contains information already in special ed and gen ed databases, requires senior administrator staff time per hour at meetings, and totally delays the offers of FAPE by 4 months to multiple years if site staff don't submit Triage Packages, submit incomplete packages, or the people receiving the package just never get to know the student and their present situation to make more successful service and placement decisions. Have seen FAPE in many districts. This one has a really messed up and muddy process with FAPE and services offered at IEP meetings. I am surprised that a group of parents or agency has not sued the district for a) blanket predetermination of FAPE via the senior management Triage Team process at district office for both initial and triennial IEP kids b) long delays in offers of FAPE without informed consent to parent when the district presents a FAPE offer, District only presenting 1 FAPE offer and not discussing with parent the range or spectrum of FAPE offers possible or relevant to their child, c) Triage Team FAPE placements that do not work or fail at a high rate due to all above. This process has cause some sped staff to go to other districts and I am starting to think that I may change districts. I don't care about working nights and weekends for kids, but seeing how the district's FAPE (services and placement) is being offered to parents is unacceptable to me as a professional and member of the "disabled" community of humans. Besides, tons of money is wasted/used on lengthy papers and multiple meeting processes of people who never met the kid, parent, or people serving that human daily. Sad.

    Form district teams reported to Superintendent to review various departments "required paper work" from school site staff. What is actually asked of site staff in terms of documentation and double-tripple-documentation of stuff needed for students, teachers, staff, etc. Paper and process reduction plans should be drafted. We are shuffling a lot of overlapping, duplicative, and redundant forms and paper processes.
  • I would like to see cuts at the district offices, rather than at the school sites where staff is already stretched thin.  Perhaps we could reduce curriculum specialist positions, or Bitsa staff.  Middle management could probably be pared back.

    We should not cut any staff members who directly serve students.  We need to keep staff members who see individual students to address their behavioral, social, emotional, or academic problems.  We need to reduce classroom disruptions in order to allow teachers to teach.  Any cuts that increase teacher responsibilities will take away from teaching time.  This must be avoided.
  • Are there untapped pools of money (federal, state local) that we are not using?
    I-Ready is expensive and the kids are over-tested, could be cut.
    Audit all positions that are not directly servicing students in classrooms and see where we can make cuts.
    Push back on the amount of time being spent on assessing and providing services to students in private and charter schools.
  • I had to hand in my ipad for e-waste this week even though there was nothing wrong with it.That seems like a huge waste of money to me. I have a one on one aide in my classroom for a student that really only needs help on the playground because of physical needs.  She sits in my classroom and reads all day.  Because she's not assigned to other kids, she only has to work with the "one" kid she's assigned to. There is a full time nurse that sits on our pod every day for 2 kids that have diabetes.  She checks their blood sugar a few times a day and then does nothing but talk on the phone. Seems like she could be doing something else productive. We seem to have a lot of TOSAs.  Are they all really necessary?
  • Start by looking at the central office, can there be cuts there?
  • Reduce salary of Superintendent to reasonable 150k and use the rest for school related items
  • Eliminate instrumental music in elementary. Kids are missing math, reading, science, etc. just so they can attend band practice. Does that make sense?
  • Reduce costs of those at the district office; DO NOT make any cuts to the schools themselves, we do not need bigger classes or paras taken away.
  • You can save money by not hiring paid consultants to give a presentation to one group of teachers and not all, not renting the Centre Concord to hold these events by paid consultants, cutting personnel at the District Office who are not doing their job, are incompetent, or their job is not necessary (start with the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education who is not doing his job, does not tell the truth, and is incompetent), by not holding meetings after school hours (teachers need to be paid for this time), any events/special trainings that require teachers to get a substitute, and making sure there are substitutes to fill all vacancies so that students do not have to be divided and placed in other teacher's classrooms who are then paid $100 each for the students they receive. These are only a few ideas for saving money.  You should be putting the needs of our students first!!!!!!!
  • Reduce salaries, benefits, and positions for the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendents.  Reduce spending on programs.  Board members should pay for their own healthcare.  Fewer TOSA positions.
  • 1) Do not service or transfer SpEd students from other districts.  If the surrounding districts are "too small" to handle their own students, perhaps they can band together to address their own problems. 
    2) Fewer TOSA's, and perhaps a maximum number of years they can hold a position.
    3) Form a grant writing committee to find other money to use, and figure out if we are entitled to more state or federal funding.
    4) Have elementary prep teachers do more during their student-free time.  At my school, they have a LOT of down time with no students.  PE could take on 5th grade Health Ed and health screenings (vision/hearing), Library and Music teachers could take on small groups for remediation including memorizing math facts through song and extra reading.All of the Prep teachers could take on supervision duty--just like every other credentialed teacher.
    5) In-Service and Teacher Work days could be run by each school, addressing their own needs, and we could cut out the expenses required to fund those days. 
    6) Some districts contract out their entire payroll department and find that it saves them money, cuts down on errors/time spent fixing them, and can make the paychecks paperless.
    7) CUT OUT i-Ready at about $24 per student.  It is expensive, time consuming for everyone (including teaching time), doesn't seem to show much improvement, and students are getting very resentful of all the assessments they have to do.  Only provide the resource to those teachers who request i-Ready.
    8) CUT OUT district assessments, and just go with data from State/Fed mandated tests.  What do we REALLY get from all the resources we put into extra testing?!?
    9) Use ANY OF THE TEXTBOOK MONEY that has not been spent on Math, Science, or Social Studies curriculum in Elementary schools for the last couple-few years.  Where is that money?!?  Engage New York is a free, online set of lessons--it is not an actual curriculum with a text book.  I am embarrassed to say that it has been adopted by the board.  Why don't I have curriculum that meets the standards for 3 of the 4 academic subjects if the state provides funds?!?
    10) Trim personnel who are NOT in the classroom or dealing directly with students.  The SOLE reason we all have a job is to educate students.  If we keep cutting down on those employees who are in the trenches, then the ones left get overworked, unable to do everything that the Fed/State/District requires, and we get burned out.  All other positions should be designed to support what happens in the classroom—NOT the other way around.
  • Don't touch the schools and their staff...look at the  personnel in the district office especially all the DISTRICT administrators & cut them.
  • Pairing new teachers with veteran teachers for collaboration and professional development would be more beneficial and cost-effective than expensive teacher induction programs with paid coaches and evaluators.
  • Go straight to the top and cut there instead of making students and teachers suffer.  Don't buy the district office people new counter tops when we have classrooms where they can't drink the water.
    Stop spending money on the behaviorist who occasionally come and are ill prepared, who don't know any background and make suggestions that show us that they have no idea what they are doing.  Stop cutting funds that allow us to do our job, like having a site tech visit out campus once a week even though we are the largest elementary school in the district.  Any support staff that is hired leaves our site because they are spread so thin.  Stop spending money on TOSAS and give us non student days to help and support each other.
  • Reduce or eliminate TOSAs and other non-essential district-level staff. Close or combine elementary schools. Reduce work days/hours of office staff at sites/district.
  • Quit hiring administratorsITo work at Carlotta drive
  • TOSA eliminated
    AVID eliminated
    Instrumental music eliminated at 4th and 5th grade
    PE eliminated at 4th and 5th grade
    Counselors eliminated
  • Start school in September and save on electricity bills! Get rid of full day Kindergarten. Get rid of i-Ready (it is not helpful for the teachers and often does not work as expected for the students). Look for cuts in the district office. Are assistants of assistants really needed?
  • 1. Look at the District Office personnel, specifically where we have assistants for assistants for assistants, or redundancy in tasks,
    2.  Stop offering Transitional Kindergarten.  This was first instituted to transition kindergarten age from December to September.  That transition time is long past.  Now we are offering a select few (born in those 3 months) free pre-kindergarten.  That is not equitable and unnecessary (since kindergarten is still not mandatory).
    3.  Stop full day kindergarten.  Most of the parents that want it, want it for free day care.  There is no additional academics being taught because the class sizes are too large.  The slip schedule allows academic lessons to a smaller size, and still provide socialization lessons during the "slip" time.  Stop giving parents what they want instead of what is the best learning environment for the kids.
    4.  Stop spending on PBIS.  This is not a research based program.  Anyone can find studies that says it work, but we can also find studies that it does not work.  In fact, there is a study that shows academics have declined in sites that have implemented it. 
  • 1.  Cancel full-day kindergarten. It has proven unsucessful at our site and is not developmentally appropriate for these young children. Full-day requires extra costs such as prep teachers (music and library). Early and late kindergarten is cheaper and is more age- appropriate.
    2. Cancel T-K. This is very expensive also and this position could go to another primary grade to ease the large class sizes. (Parents don't like large class sizes.) Why are we providing T-K when the state doesn't even require kindergarten?
    3. Cancel PBIS. This program has a mixed track record for success for student behavior. This year the district spent $100,000 for this program. Our site is spending a fortune on subs for staff to attend these meetings and not much gets accomplished. It seems we could   spend our money more wisely. There are other behavior programs that could be implemented without the huge financial burden of PBIS.
    4. Cut some of the positions at the Dent Center. Other districts seem to accomplish their work without the huge work force that I see at the Dent Center. Do we really need an assistant to the assistant to the assistant? And $7,000 was spent to tutor the worker hired with no experience? There seems to be a lot of waste at the Dent Center with too many workers doing the same job. Streamline and become more efficient!
    5.  Cancel all the TOSAs. If they are simply planning all the PD days they aren't doing a very good job because most of the PD days are a waste of time.
    6. The PE teachers are no longer needed to balance prep equity. We all have large classes now so either provide PE teachers for all grades (as you should) or reassign the PE teachers teach other subjects.
    7.  Take a good look at energy use in the district. At our site the AC runs all summer, empty rooms included. My AC comes on at 73 degrees which is very, very luxurious but very, very wasteful. We have plenty of rooms at  my site that are basically non-occupied closets where the AC is blasting full strength all the time. Not necessary and not economical.
  • First I would cut the amount of TOSAs. Why spend money to train teachers to teach teachers rather than training the teachers themselves? Teachers are your connection to students and families. Overloading classrooms does not benefit anyone. Do not layoff our teachers! Once they are gone we will never get them back. Starting the next school year with long-term substitutes filling the positions of teachers you've laid off is destructive to education and team building among the staff. Second cut the amount of money in positions at the DO. Stop putting people in positions they are not qualified for. If we are having such a dire situation with our finances, why are we hiring people in our business and finance positions who aren't coming in with an action plan? I sure hope you are not using this to blame the teachers for wanting a fair contract.
  • Consider reducing cafeteria food choices (smaller menu with healthy choices).

    Reduce speech/language therapists and psychologists- consider having the remaining ones travel between campuses.

  • We have a lot of extra jobs at the district level.  It seems like administrative assistant jobs can be reduced and combined. Tosas are an extra expense that can be cut.  They often create unneeded programs that have little follow through from year to year and are created just to justify their salary. Really unnecessary.
  • Discontinue dual immersion program/bilingual classes. Also reduce classes such as  music and art. I know music and art are important but there is no choice at this point.  
  • First, eliminate all day kindergarten. Second, reduce District managers and positions that do not work directly with students and school sites. Why do asst. sups need so many assistants?? Third, eliminate iReady and the many PBIS trainings. There are too many “trainings” that require subs. Subs are an added expense and there are just not enough subs to cover most trainings.
  • Do not allow full day Kindergarten, eliminate full day kindergarten in all of MDUSD
  • Stop paying for meals at conferences/meetings.
  • Elementary needs to keep counselors/social emotional supports. We can lose instrumental music or 4/5 PE (if the contract allows).
  • Make cuts at the administrative level, not with personnel who actually work with students(teachers, counselors, etc...)
  • Take money away that will not directly impact students.  Take money away from at the Dent center instead.
  • Cut TOSAs, cut high salaries at the district, cut positions that do not directly affect students on the school sites- classrooms are full enough as is, students aren't getting the education they deserve
  • Eliminate TOSA positions
  • Do not fill vacant positions
    Eliminate AVID program
    Eliminate Summit
    Consolidate Alternative Education sites
    Eliminate college and career advisors, allow counselors to take on more college and career
    Eliminate librarians (they have so few hours on campus as it is)
    Allow sports and marching band to count as PE (high school)
    Reduce the number of Assistant Superintendents
    More cuts at district level as opposed to school sites
    Reduce registrar and office manager to 11 months
    Eliminate middle school sports
    Eliminate elementary school music programs
    Eliminate Equity team
    Eliminate IB program- so few students take advantage of it
    Eliminate Naviance
  • Hiring freeze for the district office.  Eliminate or reduce Teachers on Special Assignment positions. 
  • Provide students with an education focused on core subjects, especially in elem. and middle school.  Provide meaningful electives for high school so that the students who are not college bound can learn a skill or at least develop an interest.  Drop the programs aimed at  cultural awareness.  They are meant to serve a purpose but only seems to spark resentment with our minorities, unfortunately.  We still need strong administrative staff and counselors!
  • I don't feel our TOSA program is extremely productive so that may be an area where the number of TOSA's can be reduced.  I also don't feel that paying for camera men to advertise for our district is a wise way of spending money. I feel that any money that directly affect our students such as; assistants, basic supplies, curriculum, and technology should not be touched!
  • Eliminate instrumental music at 4th and 5th grades, eliminate elementary counselors, secondary librarians, reduce but don't emilinate TOSAs, have principals of small schools to take over some district office responsibilities, eliminate summer school , reorganize district office
  • Top heavy - less people at the district level
  • Stop having Itinerant Behavioral Health Specialists who do not bill any of their students to medi-cal for the services they provide because they are not recouping any money for the district but the district is paying for the salaries and benefits without any money coming in from what they are doing. 

    Switch all contracted mental health programs/services to district provided mental health programs and services to help with saving costs for paying for those programs.  District employees can work the programs and bill medi-cal to recoup the costs of the program.  Right now the contracted programs are being paid for but no costs are being recouped because the outside agencies are billing and recouping the costs of the services.     
  • End expensive programs like AVID. Eliminate the "pony" service.
  • Stop asking sites to recreate the wheel with things like becoming magnet schools. These things cost money from things like professional development to items needed to implement. It’s a waste of money.
  • Do not cut sports, do not cut extra curricular activities. Do not cut teachers.
  • Consider partnering with local businesses to support supplies in classrooms, especially copy paper.
  • It seems like we have a lot of programs that could be consolidated.  For example, instead of having multiple continuation and alt-ed programs on multiple campuses, why not consolidate into ONE alt-ed program that can serve our students who need a non-traditional school?  The administrative and teacher costs for all these programs would be reduced significantly by consolidating these.

    We should also allow PE credits for students who play a sport (1 sport = 5 PE credits) at the high school level and for students who are in Band, Show Choir, and Cheer.  The amount of physical work put out by these students is easily as much as is put out in a PE class.
  • If need be I am suggesting programs such as iReady, PBIS, Dual Language and closing maybe smaller schools to reduce the budget. I do believe we need to make sure our teachers are fully trained to offer rich, rigorous, and standard-based instruction whether this is done through collaboration or teacher to teacher coaching. The bottom line, students learning should not be jeopardized in the effort of budget reductions.
  • Close some elementary schools and reduce district TOSAs and other non-essential staffing. Site counselors and site admin should NOT be reduced if we want to maintain student health and safety.
  • Cuts need to be as far away from directly affecting all students.  Reduce some AP staff, especially at elementary and middle school levels, reduce TOSA's, reduce administrative positions at the district office level, provide a "golden handshake" option for early retirement
  • Find ways for senior colleagues to retire to open up paths for new and skilled professionals.
  • Audit Dent Center productivity and positions
  • audit what is going on at the Dent Center - do you need all those positions?
  • Cut district level employees, not employees at sites. The kids are suffering because of too few VPs, too large of classes, not enough electives offered. Good teachers are being let go and students are left with the teachers who can't do their jobs and don't care. The front line to the students should be protected and remain intact, while cuts should be made at the district level.
  • Elementary Instrumental Music is a huge inconvenience for teachers and costs money - kids can learn music in middle school or after school on their own time - CUT IT!!!!
    TOSAs are frivolous positions - CUT THEM!
    Kindergarten Full Day is horrible for the teachers and the kids - CUT IT
  • Clean up all the costly, out dated, outmoded, inefficient systems that are used by the district office for everything on every level. The inefficiencies in purchasing, materials management, tracking of all sorts of things causes frustrations out on the campuses as well as massive waste of monies.
  • To  keep all budget cuts as far from schools and classrooms as possible. We are already stretched as thin as possible and have had almost every 8th grade math, science and PE class over for more than 115 days - that more than 1/2 the year.  Admin was cut to 1 principal, 1 and 1/2 VP's .  This has made our school unsafe for both students and staff.  For Title 1 students to be in a math classes  of 40 verges on criminal. Equity means everyone gets what they need to succeed not everyone gets exactly the same.
  • Get rid of TOSA’s and assistant superintendent of elementary education
  • Reducing Elementary Instrumental music.  As an alternative, offer Instrumental music at different times (after school or before school) paying teachers on a timesheet if necessary-or adjusting hours of existing music teachers. Also eliminating 4-5 grade PE in favor of having Classroom teachers teach their own students PE.
  • This is a challenging time and there are no easy answers. Our top priority needs to be building teacher capacity for creating classrooms that serve every student at a high level. This will motivate all community members and renew our spirit. I want us to use this as an opportunity to shift our practice with a forward-looking, improvement perspective, while acknowledging the tough changes that are needed.

    To that end, I would use building teacher capacity as a criteria for what we cut and what we fund. Whatever funding priorities remain after our cuts, we need multiple, quantifiable and qualitative measures of effectiveness so we can monitor progress and  work for continued improvement. We need to be funding for teacher capacity building that reflects the inequities of student performance in our district, prioritizing schools that serve currently underperforming students with what they truly need to effect change. Those schools especially need to be supported in re-envisioning how they "do school" so that what's not working is not just repeated "because we've always done it that way". Obviously, unions would need to be partners in this re-envisioning process.

    We need to make decisions based on what educational research says makes a difference at impacting teacher capacity and focus all our bare-bones efforts on that. Hopefully as funding increases we can bring on more services, to add to the strong core we create during these tight times.

    Some ideas for cuts:
    Expensive programs like IB, AVID and PBIS. Let's use what we've learned and build on it, focusing our funding and work on making teachers highly skilled at using what they've learned to support all students in Math, Language Arts, Science and History Social Science, and all subjects.

    I think we need to consolidate smaller schools, as hard as this would be, this would save money. We could then either sell or rent the space, (but not rent to competing schools).

    Choose one district-wide testing tool that is most effective for authentic student assessment, and most efficient cost-wise and use it, but get rid of others. E.g. Could we stop using iReady and instead use iO/EADMS for primary grades or other teacher graded assessments, CAASPP IABs and FIABs for 3-12th, and performance assessments like running records for reading, writing assessments and math and science performance tasks, as well as other subject area "authentic assessments"  that teachers grade and collaborate on analyzing data to inform instruction? Scores could be scanned and shared for site and district trends, while prioritizing teachers learning and shifting practice in classrooms.

    Continue efforts at reducing redundancies and staffing for efficiency at all levels and areas, with a priority on what builds teacher capacity.
  • Ensure that district level personnel are appropriate for the jobs held and that there are not replicated positions.
  • Too much wasteful spending in district office. Top heavy salaries for district management. Unqualified, low experienced employees in high management positions.
  • Reduce district staff
  • Less bureaucratic positions at the district level. More efficient spending. Hire competent outside people for district admin level positions not just move site admin into leadership rolls.
  • Get rid of ToSAs
  • Increasing Credentialed school nurses will help promote decrease in absences nurses can work with families who have chronically absent children.  This will increase ADA funds available to school district. 
  • I think that adminstrators and other higher ups should take a pay cut, instead of cutting SDCs and other special education personnel that are already spread way too thin.  Not knowing the actual amount of the annual deficit, or which depts are creating the deficit, I cannot make informed recommendations, due to the lack of transparency from the top brass.
  • Get rid of TOSA's (useless), stop paying for PD presenters that teachers tune out, Stop paying for programs like AVID, let teachers work and collaborate instead of paid PD presenters. Cut district office staff.
  • Eliminate IB schools, especially Sequoia Elem. since you will spend $8,000 a year per site to keep them and that's just for the annual fee which doesn't include all necessary staff development days needed to keep the program up. None of the Sequoia kids are going to go to Oak Grove (the IB middle school, so what's the point in paying all of this money for nothing? They won't go to Ygnacio H.S. either, so it's a complete waste. Sequoia El. is already one of the top schools, so why are we wasting $$$$ on turning it into an IB school? It makes no sense to me!!

    You can also eliminate BAND in 4th and 5th grade. They can take it in middle school.
  • Save money by delivering all correspondence through the sites rather than mailing them home.
  • I can't think of any position at a school that isn't vital anymore, we cut everything to the nubbs last time.  Some positions at Dent I think, someone's in charge of *that*?  But I'm not clear on everyone's function.  Ihave 37 in each of my 5 classes.  You tell me :)
  • I think we should cut TOSA positions.  I think that we should collapse music prep  and PE into one prep time for elementary teachers.  PE teachers could then access a classroom and cover some of the music curriculum.  A PE teacher holds the appropriate credential to do both. It is short sided to think that music instruction is more essential because they give a grade on the elementary report card.  Music is not an essential academic area. If you combine these 2 preps then PE would have a classroom to use in rainy or very hot weather.
  • I notice that the maintenance crews work at several schools each day. Therefore we are paying them for time spent driving around.  I think it makes more sense to assign them to one school (or possibly 2 or three if they are close- like Pine Hollow and Highlands or Sequoia Middle and Elementary) They would arrive at the school site and stay at the school for the day, they would get as many projects done at each campus as they can for the day and we would not be paying for their travel time.  This would also allow schools to know that they have 8 hours worth of maintenance time once and month and could prioritize which projects should be completed
  • Go back to half day Kindergarten - full day isn't working for the kids developmentally and we can save money on prep teachers
    Look at district level administrators - are any of the positions redundant? Do the assistants need assistants?
  • Stop all professional development that carries an attached expense, cancel TOSA's, cancel
    all trainings that require substitutes, remove night custodians, cancel all after school sports programs that carry an attached expense, cancel all after school curriculum support that carries an attached expense
  • Get rid of redundant "overseer" type jobs in the district. For example, the person in charge of academies. This job does not need to exist, as academies already have leaders.
    Also, get rid of or limit greatly the contractual hires. For example, the people the district hires to teach teachers how to be better teachers. Hiring these people who have never taught, is wasteful.
  • I worked in a previous district with this problem and they saved thousands a year (very small district so we'd save even more) with some changes to power usage.  They paid a stipend to a maintenance staff wanting to make more money and that person worked a couple extra hours a week.  They did things like reduce the heat 2 degrees in winter and increase AC 2 degrees in summer (teachers could change it if they wanted but many didn't), have heat/AC come on 30 min. before school instead of 2 hours, have it automatically turn off 15 minutes after school ended instead of 4:00 pm (with us able to turn it back on if we were still here), if manually turned on it went off automatically after 1 hour so staff couldn't forget (we could turn it back on again for another hour if needed), unplug everything that could be unplugged nightly (microwaves, coffee makers, etc.) with the understanding that you can't unplug things that need charging such as sound field systems, turn off all computers in labs each evening rather than leaving in sleep mode (1st class in turned them on, last class out turned them off), unplugged refrigerators, etc on any break longer than a long weekend, etc.  The person working the extra hours (may have to be more than one here) randomly checked schools after hours and left reminders on their desks for those who forgot or papers with 100% on them to those who did what they were asked.  Those 100% papers had a spot to put your name and were put into raffles at each site for prizes.  The savings far outweighed was was spent on the stipend/prizes.

    Possibly reduce all our classroom budgets by a little bit, like $25.00 each: in a district this size that should add up to quite a bit.
  • Cut bloated, redundant district office positions.  Reduce or eliminate TOSA's, no one uses them.  We can't afford Full Day kindergarten. It should return to half day.
  • There has to be a way to sut Special Education funding.  I personally have a student who is bussed BY HIMSELF, to and from- all the way across town from Concord to Walnut Creek every day. How many students are we doing this for??  Can we not model after other more successful districts?
  • fix leaking and classrooms and not make the grass green
  • Get rid of the current substitute teacher system.
  • In the summer time, there needs to be teams of roving custodians to clean the schools.  There does not need to be full time people all summer at each site that is not being used for summers school.  These teams would also ensure supervision and expectations that our schools will be properly cleaned during the summer months.  This should also be the time that custodial staff takes their vacations or time off.  Teachers work hard during the school year and it is very concerning that our schools are not cleaned properly and we return in August wondering what has been done in our classrooms all summer. 
         I am so impressed with the new superintendent visiting the schools during the school day and I am hoping that he would also visit these same school sites at night. 
  • Eliminate inefficiencies in the district office. This office gives the impression that there are duplicate roles and a high level of bureaucratic "fat" that could be trimmed.
  • Evaluate which District-level positions can be cut, starting from the highest salary.
    Do not renew i-Ready.
    Do not offer middle school after school sports next year - have sites run their own programs, which would involve more students and eliminate transportation costs.
    Review special ed programs and reduce non-mandated costs.
    Do not renew Office Depot contract, but allow teachers to purchase from other vendors at reduced costs and set up District or school site Amazon Prime account(s). 
  • Make cuts to Administration operations, not teachers and students' programs
  • Please do not reduce any school nurse and health related positions.  School nurses are already short staffed and MDUSD needs more credentialed school nurses in order to keep our children safe.  The number of student's with health issues continues to rise every year.  Credentialed school nurses help reduce chronic absenteeism and help our kids stay healthy so they can learn. 
  • Keep the cuts as far away from the students and classrooms as possible.  We need librarians.  They do a lot more than just check out books.  They teach standards.  We also need music classes. They also teach standards and provide important enrichment in education.  Small class sizes are crucial for helping students learn.  Large classes turns into baby sitting more than teaching. Make reductions in other places higher up. Thank you.
  • Furlough the 2 PD Days in favor of utilizing  Wed staff days and site minimum days to create PD opportunities.  Then close Willow Creek Center
  • Consider cutting from the top first, and work down the pyramid.
  • Eliminate wasteful spending hiring educational consultants, (name redacted). Modify teacher professional development days to be done on-site and include virtual webinars or training, so that venues do not need to be rented. Eliminate dual-language collaboration days, provide more on-site planning time between dual-language teachers instead of having them attend meetings that are not a good use of teacher time outside the classroom. Eliminate online benchmark assessments for primary grades. Do not put time and money into creating IOS benchmark tests on standards that are already assessed with iReady assessments.
  • Better leadership in Special Education department.  Hire more effective case managers, the required teachers/SEAs, etc.  as to AVOID the continual law suits brought against the district for being out of compliance.  Do it right the first time and provide the needed services. 

    Decrease management salaries and those at District Office.  No one should be making more than $150,000 in a public school setting. 

    Money is wasted yearly on curriculum- especially consumables.  These books are continually ordered even when we don't want them.  They are thrown out yearly and it is a huge waste of money.

    Don't spend money on grass fields.  Why did Mt. Diablo Elementary get hundreds of thousands of dollars for a new field that is barely ever open and not properly mantained.  Stop wasting funding on projects like that.  

    Become a destination district again with schools that parents want to send their children too.  Our numbers will continue to decline because our district has a poor reputation and people want other options than our schools.  Our schools need to be better so parents will want to enroll their kids.  If our schools are better, property values will also go up. 
  • Reduce mowing and landscaping services - not every lawn needs to be mowed weekly or even every other week.
     Evaluate the cost of running the heating/air conditioner when the rooms/school is not occupied - rarely are all classrooms occupied until 5 pm.  Is it possible for sites or individual classrooms to set up their own heating/cooling schedules?
    Allow staff to purchase supplies at the lowest cost...not only at selected, contracted vendors.
    Ensure that there is no redundancy in the administrative services - closely examine and compare the job descriptions. Is there any overlap, or less essential services that can be put on hold ?
    Consider NOT holding professional development days unless there is an urgent and specific issue/topic to be discussed/taught.
  • Quit hiring administratorsITo work at Carlotta drive
  • The amount of food that is thrown away is huge. Wrapped packages of crackers especially have to be thrown away after being served. Why? They are wrapped, unopened! But still they have to be thrown away! I can understand throwing away milk, and anything that is not sealed or needs to be refrigerated. But you throw away graham crackers that are still in sealed containers? What a waste! Why not feed them to the homeless. Why not put them back and serve them again. They are Not opened. Therefore, the crackers cannot go bad! What a waste of money! And, this is not the fault of the cafeteria. I don’t know who made this decision but someone is making money on selling crackers to the district
  • No reductions that take away from the classroom, the students, or teachers. No teacher reductions. We need teachers and smaller class sizes.
  • Eliminate Full Day Kindergarten.  Sending Music and Library Teachers to provide a prep period for Kindergarten teachers is an unnecessary expense.  Send the students home earlier.
  • Administration
    Stay away from any cuts to staffing that directly impacts students or classrooms
  • Cut from the top.  The district constantly makes cuts that DIRECTLY impact the students at the school site.  More cuts need to be made at the district level as school sites are already operating at bare bones.  Teachers and school site staff are constantly being asked to do more and more, yet no compensation.  The cuts need to come from the top (either entirely eliminate positions AND/OR pay cuts).
  • Stop getting rid of perfectly good technology.

    Have the district level and school level leaders do more instructional leadership instead of continuously putting admin tasks on teacher-leaders and timesheeting us. This is not a “creative use of resources” this is burning our teachers. I know leaders are busy but everyone is busy. We (teachers) are continuously asked to do more and made to feel like we can’t say no.

    When you are thinking of how to maximize your resources, please don’t put more on our teachers, nurses, counselors, tosas, etc. We are all working really hard and at our capacity.
  • I think it would be best to cut certain jobs that are not beneficial. I know at my cite we have assistants to resource and SDC and honestly I don’t feel that they should be there all day. Just a few hours would work. I also think we can do with our certain PDs that we do and possibly cut members that are on the higher pay salary.
  • Keep certificated Librarians on staff, and do not touch the Music and Arts department. 
  • Cuts that are away from students. i.e. Administrative and District Office positions
  • It’s time to close schools, make combo classes, cut instrumental music, cut counselors, cut teachers on special assignment, close willow creek, cut district office triple digit employees, cut vice principals, cut PE elementary teachers, reduce office staff hours, shorten school year.  We had cuts before everyone will survive.  Get control of the monies.  Give your teachers their cost of living raise so they can survive especially with the major cut positions, their job will be harder.  Cut iready! Waisted money! Cut transportation, cut custodial evening hours, most are done cleaning by 9pm.  Install cameras everywhere instead of having a late night custodian.  Cut assistant superintendents, cut district office assistants. 
  • Why doesn’t the district cut iReady? I understand the license fee is $800,000. That is a very large fee. Is that paid annually? We primary teachers don’t use the information for report cards because iReady doesn’t really align with our standards. We don’t need it. We certainly don’t need to be testing kindergarten, first or second grades. Those students can be assessed very accurately by the classroom teacher. If testing is a must, are there less expensive programs? If testing is a must then the scores for the upper grades, 3 - 5, should suffice.

    Please keep cuts away from the classroom. Please make your cuts at the district administration level where there appears to be many superfluous or redundant positions. The essence of a school district is its classrooms, students and teachers. This must be MDUSDs priority. After that come the principals, the leaders of our schools. Sometimes it seems MDUSD cares more about the Dent Center.
  • There are ways to save money without losing valuable staff at our schools.  Money can be saved by looking at the overall day-to-day operational costs at school sites. For example, throughout the district, schools use thousands and thousands of sheets of paper to make copies everyday. The cost adds up. There are items that definitely need to be copied. However, the majority of things can be done as class sets or projected for students to copy by hand (which a lot of student don't do anymore). If school sites actually looked at how much they spend on paper, copiers, and maintaining copiers, they would find that number to be very high. 

     I also think there are programs the district pays a lot of money for that are not being implemented with fidelity. These programs should be scrutinized and phased out. All school staff is essential to the success of our students. Cuts that need to be made should not be made to school staff. There are other ways the district is leaking money. Find those leaks, address them, and there will be no need to lose good people and negatively impact the educational growth of our students.
  • Limit hiring outside consultants and use teachers within the school for teacher development,  streamline staffing in District Departments, TOSA's are great for supporting new teachers maybe combining them with BTSA program only.
    Consider California Office of Education for helping new teachers.
  • Keeping supports that directly impact students, not increasing employment farther from the classroom.
  • Cut some District Office positions
  • This is difficult for me to answer.  This won't help with budget reductions...One of the first things to get rid of is class size reduction at k-3.  There is a big difference between 24 in a class versus 30 students in a class.  Please avoid getting rid of class size reduction k-3
  • Keep cuts away from the classroom
  • Hire more Speech Therapists and eliminate all of the contractors - will probably save over a million dollars
  • reduce costs for online programs such as iReady
  • Eliminate the I-Ready program. Make cuts at the higher levels so there's not direct impact on students
  • All cuts are difficult; however, I believe we should prioritize our cuts based on the amount of students that they support.  Therefore, programs/services/positions that are elite and only support a minority of students in MDUSD should be eliminated. 
  • get rid of busing except for special ed. and get rid of instrumental music
  • Monies from the sale of the military property?  too many meetings.  Possibly consider dividing up this large district.
  • Eliminate expensive extra non-essential programs such as i-ready, middle school AVID. Also reduce or eliminate TOSA positions. 
  • Keep the budget reductions AWAY from direct student mental health services especially in Bay Point and Monument Corridor.
  • Start at the district office. Too many 'managers', eliminate a few positions. Teachers with more than 35 students in a classroom especially at a Title I school is unacceptable. Students deserve a quality education; they're an investment NOT a liability.
  • Let's consider looking at district-level management as an area to reduce instead of the site level where principals, vice-principals, teachers, and support are integral to ensuring optimal support for each student.
  • More accountability and more audits around "mismanagement" of funds. Provide more FTE to school counselors and not cut anymore FTE. Students are dying because FTE is cut in the school counselor pool. Literally dying.
  • Eliminate TOSA positions. Eliminate costly “presenters” who often are not helpful.
  • Eliminate Alg 1A and 1B
    Let marching band and school sports count for PE credit
    Eliminate middle school sports
    Eliminate elementary music programs
    Eliminate college and career advisors - counselors can do this work and are more qualified
    Reduce classified office staffs hours worked and months worked
  • Remove: Assistant Superintendents, TOSA's, Equity counselors, college advisers- go part time only, the extra people who do not work directly with the students. Keep VP's, teachers, counselors, librarians, nurses because they are in constant contact with students on a daily basis and are important for consistency and learning.How is pink slipping teachers and VP's, who work directly with the students "Student Centered" ?
  • Evaluate outside contractors and see where hiring staff within the district is more cost effective. Evaluate and eliminate unnecessary vacant positions. Offer early retirement packages for staff high on the salary schedule to allow newer hires to stay that are more budget friendly. Limit Professional Development travel costs and have more Professional Development be provided by district staff. For example, AVID, PBIS, etc. unless they're grant or special projects funded and not impacting the budget negatively. Furlough days for district office staff during the summer. Evaluate 11 and 12 month employees if they could be 10 or 11 month employees instead.
  • Convert 5 day week to 4 day week but with longer school days.  Save on transportation, energy use and much more.
  • Convert 5 day school week to 4 day school week with longer school days also combine YV and MD student population to YV and Concord High and move all alternative education to Mt Diablo HS, example Summit,  Olympic, Diablo Day, 
  • Get rid of the programs that cost money before making job cuts. For example: iready, IB, soul shop, AVID (last to cut), ect
  • Upgrade the thermostats (to reduce energy bills): consolidate programs offered (this is a huge district and left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing: taking a look at various programs and consolidating might be beneficial)
  • Consider a timeline for temporary employees going on leave for extended period of time and  ability to have a 90 day termination process if continuing to extend leaves that are not absolutely necessary/detrimental to health. 
  • Reduce spending on librarians, counselors, coaches, TOSAs, and district-level administrators. When the money eventually comes back, use it first to decrease the class sizes of required academic classes (instead of spending it on district admin pet projects).
  • Decide what services and student needs are important, prioritize them, and fund only the ones that make sense and forgo others with the associated costs tosave money.
  • Combine smaller elementary schools
    Establish K-8 school
    Nothing should be reduced if it jeopardizes the safety of students on our campuses.  Not have adequate support administratives, counselors, etc… impedes a safe environment
    Eliminate i-Ready and focus on the CAASPP resources
    Eliminate IB in our schools
    Eliminate the use of worksheets/packets in the classroom (it’s just busy work)...copy quotas… have students use interactive notebooks (composition books)
    Review the newly (last year) created administrative positions.
    Your answer
  • Senate Bill (SB) 1381 that was implemented for transitional kindergarten was supposed to be a temporary solution for 3 years to provide districts the ability to move the entry age requirements for kindergarten from December to September.  However, districts have continued to offer this program beyond the 3 years, at great cost to the district.  Additionally it is not always fair on families, that some children (birthdays Sept to Dec) get this extra year of free education and all the others do not.  Eliminating the TK program would perhaps save the district a considerable amount of money.
  • Do not fill the assistant superintendent vacancy
  • Do not start an IB program at a school without a plan to fund it.
  • Decrease administrative cost
  • Reduce non-site employees. Return the coaches and TOSAs to the classroom. Work with Principals and unions to reduce time while students are not at school. Please do not cut any site admin.
  • Reduce unnecessary spending, put students first.
  • *Eliminate TOSA positions. *Have every district department look at where cuts can be made, review report. *Review staffing in every department is within the percent that represents the total amount of student enrollment. *For middle and high schools how many counselors and  vice principals are there? Make sure the numbers represent that schools enrollment.
  • Look at upper management in the district and see where cuts can be made.  Perhaps their can be less positions in upper management.

    Review pay of all special education assistants - some are still paid for services like diapering and toileting and they are no longer performing these duties. 

    Do a better job equalizing TK classes - some have very low numbers and some have very high numbers depending on the site.  Can these low class sizes be consolidated?  Centralize TK registration at the District level so you know the number of students at each site and can assign students to schools depending on enrollment.  Last year, some TK classes were as high as 32 students and other TK classes had less than 20.

    Look at the work TOSAs are doing.  Are these essential positions?
  • My suggestion is to not cut the dual language collaboration days. Teachers reported that they felt that the dual language collaboration days to learn more about the latest research on Translanguaging, seeing videos of successful lessons, having time to read and discuss example lesson plans and collaborate with their colleagues to create example lessons was a huge benefit to their teaching practice. The collection of resources, presentation, and development of visuals was appreciated and enjoyed by teachers. Please do not cut this valuable resource. In addition, do not cut the English Learner Support teachers who provide a great service to the school and are advocates for English Learners in our community. We need these teachers to organize and present data on English Learners, and use this data to support staff instruction of EL´s.
  • No more cuts to personnel!!! Students need caring humans. Teachers need smaller class sizes and the support of coaches and student support services.  Can we cut programs like i-Ready or Avid and stop contracting with outside PD consultants?
  • Does it cost more for the Print Shop to deliver copied materials to each school? If so, eliminate that service.Top administrators waive salary increases.